Rishi Sunak says UK ‘pleased to support’ UN Gaza ceasefire resolution

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Rishi Sunak says UK ‘pleased to support’ UN Gaza ceasefire resolution

The Prime Minister, appearing before the Commons Liaison Committee, said he was 'pleased to support the resolution' because it was consistent with the UK position in relation to Gaza

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Rishi Sunak appears before parliament's Liaison Committee ( UK parliament)
Rishi Sunak appears before parliament's Liaison Committee ( UK parliament)

Rishi Sunak  has said the UK was “pleased to support”  to support a United Nations resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and the “unconditional release of all hostages”.

The Prime Minister, appearing before the Commons Liaison Committee, said he was “pleased to support the resolution” because it was consistent with the UK position, “which is for an immediate sustained humanitarian pause, which would allow for the safe release of hostages, more aid into Gaza and provide a platform for a more lasting durable ceasefire”.

He added:“We will continue to do everything we can, both ask Israel at all levels to comply with international humanitarian law to improve the provision of humanitarian aid into Gaza but also continue to call on Hamas and work with countries like Egypt and Qatar to unconditionally release the hostages.”

The UN Security Council resolution presses for a ceasefire in Gaza during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and it is the first time the body has called for a halt to the fighting.

The resolution did not link the demand for the release of the hostages to the ceasefire during Ramadan, which runs until April 9.

Meanwhile the Israeli government must provide an explanation for the attacks on British aid agencies in Gaza, foreign office minister Andrew Mitchell has told the Commons.

Both Alicia Kearns, the Conservative chair of the foreign affairs select committee and Labour MP Jess Phillips had previously raised an incident on January 18th “as to why there have been British aid agencies bombed by Israel with weapons potentially provided in part by us?”

Phillips told MPs she had also “been to the UN in the last few weeks and raised it with diplomats there”.

Responding Mitchell replied: “We require an explanation from the Israeli government for the actions which took place, we continue to press, but she will understand that the timing of that is not a matter which rests with the British Government. The Israeli government will have heard her and indeed our voices raised upon this matter.”

During Tuesday’s latest statement on the situation in Gaza, some Tory MPs raised concerns a UK-backed United Nations resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza will “undermine” efforts to free hostages from Hamas control.MP Matthew Offord (Hendon) said the resolution will “embolden” Hamas while former cabinet minister Theresa Villiers said her Chipping Barnet constituents “feel badly let down” by the votes at the UN.

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy welcomed the UN resolution, describing it as a “turning point” in efforts to stop the fighting in Gaza.

The Labour frontbencher said: “Yesterday the UN Security Council finally passed resolution 2,728, calling for an immediate ceasefire, the immediate release of all hostages, and full humanitarian access in Gaza. This was incredibly welcome and overdue. It must now be a turning point.

“We welcome too that the Government was able to support this motion. It represents a major shift in Government policy, which previously called only for an immediate pause rather than an immediate ceasefire.”

Kearns, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee, said the UNSC will “face an existential crisis” if its resolution is not carried through into action.

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